Having tried to start the engine last weekend and met with failure, I paused to think the situation over. On Monday I came up with a plan. Because turning the key wasn’t working anymore, I wanted to know if the starter had gone bad, or if there was a break in the wiring between the dashboard and the starter. When I was sorting out the clutch and brake linkage, I was under the dash fighting all kinds of wires, so it was a strong possibility I’d disconnected or broken something.

Last night I checked over the connections in the engine bay (the battery is fully charged and healthy according to the multimeter) and bent a piece of 12ga wire in half. With the key in the ACC position and new gas in the carb bowl, I jumped the poles on the starter and she fired right up. The new fuel pump immediately began pulling from the tank, and she ran at a fast idle. I let it run for a little while, noting clouds of smoke from the exhaust—residue from preoiling the cylinder when I first got the truck. I shut it down after a few minutes, satisfied the fuel system is working correctly. The fact that it shut down from the key tells me there’s a bad ignition connection on the lock barrel, which should be a relatively easy fix.

Now I’m going to turn back to the brakes, which are the final piece of the puzzle. Once I’ve gotten the soft line replaced at the back axle—I’m considering replacing the hard line from there to the front fender—I can fill the main cylinder and bleed the system. When the brakes are ready and the fast idle is corrected, I can test the clutch and transmission, and hopefully move the truck under its own power.

After that was sorted, I used some fine grit sandpaper to polish the primer on both fenders and hit the passenger’s side with IH red from a rattle-can. It’s bright and shiny and doesn’t go with the rest of the truck at all—the older rattle-can I had went on somewhat flat, which actually worked with the rest of the paint. Neither of these fenders are perfect, but the passenger side looks worlds better than it did before, especially after I wire-wheeled the top and the filler hole before hitting them with rust stop.

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Date posted: June 1, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Jump Start

Saturday morning we got an early start on the day. After a walk downtown for some coffee with Jen and Hazel, I stopped back over at Steve’s house to talk with his wife, who walked us back to the carriage house and directed me to a couple boxes of leftover parts from the truck, as well as the original carpet set. We had a lovely time chatting and while I was in the garage I gave her money for a pneumatic sander, needle scaler and metal brake sitting on the floor. She then showed us his old workshop in the basement, which had actually been open during the estate sale, and pleaded with us to take some of the stuff that was left over. I found a nice Craftsman three-drawer toolbox with some tools inside that I also gave her money for.

Back at the house, I continued working on the passenger side brakes. Here the soft line didn’t want to come off the connector inside the frame rail without threatening to bend the hard line, so I left that on and finished up the rest of the drum around it. With that greased up and sealed, I pulled both front fenders off and continued pounding out dents and smoothing things over with Bondo. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this truck is going to be a 20-footer, but eventually I’ll find better C-series fenders and paint them to match. I also ran the old gas through the tank into a pail and strained the dirt out through a coffee filter. It came out much cleaner than the last time, so I figured I was getting close. Then I pulled the brittle feed hose off the gas tank and plumbed a new line inside the frame rail up to the fuel pump.

On Sunday I took the Scout down to the local Cars & Coffee to meet up with both Bennett and the buyer of my old A/C equipment. He brought his Mustang down, as his Scout is still in the garage. I struck up a conversation with a local Citroen 2CV owner and got the full tour of his car, which is fucking amazing; the buyer of my A/C stuff stopped over and I helped him carry it over to his ride, a bright blue early ’80’s Ford Ranger with a 4-cylinder Perkins diesel. He’s the new owner of a D-series pickup that he’s slowly rebuilding; he’s hoping some IH parts will help. Combined with this and a couple other sales, I’ve got a solid chunk of cash to carry to Nationals for rare parts to pick, which is awesome.

After I got back home, I let the dog out and got to work. One last flush of the gas tank revealed next to no dirt, so I sealed that back up. After running out for supplies and gas, I filled the tank and turned the key to reveal: nothing. No sound from the starter. The solenoid on the firewall clicked, and the trailer brake system is still powered, but there’s something going on with the key again. I pulled the barrel out of the dash and wiggled the connectors to no success; I’m going to have to work backwards from the starter to see if it’s getting power but not working anymore. If that’s the case, I’ve got three more in the garage I can swap in.

So I parked that task and moved on to the fenders and the rear floor. After sanding, priming, and mudding each fender, I let them dry. Then I started removing bolts from the rear floor.

Overall most of them wanted to come out, but there were a handful that wouldn’t budge, so I drilled those out and pried up the sheet of plywood. What I found underneath was pretty incredible: all of the stringers are solid, with only a slight amount of rust on the top edges. There were about a thousand mud dauber nests, which all got scraped out, and then I ran the wire wheel over the top sides of the stringers.

The plan is to leave the floor loose so that I can pull it out and wheel off all the rust on the stringers, frame, and axle, and then paint it all with chassis encapsulator. I can also access the brake lines and electrical runs much easier up until they go under the front seats.

Sunday evening I wrapped up as dusk was really falling; I packed up the tools and organized the garage (having a lot of new shelf space in the absence of large parts sure is nice) and took an Advil with dinner to soothe my aching back. I’m sure not 32 anymore.


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Date posted: May 30, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Three Day Weekend

Last weekend was focused on brakes and brake lines. I had a little time Saturday afternoon so I put the front axle on jack stands and pulled the driver’s side wheel off. These drums are different than the rears; the drum is integrated with the studs, which means you have to pull the dust cover off, unlock a castle nut, pull out a lockwasher and the outer bearing, and slide the whole assembly off the spindle. What I found was a very clean spindle packed with new grease, but I couldn’t get the cylinder off the backing plate until I whacked it with a hammer. The brake shoes are an inch larger than the rears and the cylinders are single-piston, so there was some verification needed before I ordered new parts. I also pulled the old clutch slave cylinder off, cleaned the piston, and installed the new one.

Looking at other installations of brake and clutch lines of this same vintage I’m noticing that there are loops of tube directly under the master cylinder before the line heads off in whatever direction it’s going; I’m considering redoing the line to the clutch slave this way. The old line went directly to the slave with no loop—just a strange soft line junction in the middle that crumbled in my hands—so I’m not sure what the right answer is.

On Sunday afternoon I got a bunch of brake parts in from Amazon—two sizes of steel tube, a bender, and a flaring tool along with a pile of fittings. I used the bender to sort of monkey a new cylinder-to-slave line over the other elements in the engine bay, flared the ends, and installed that in place.

Then I put the driver’s rear wheel up on a stand and attempted to replace a hard line from the brass tee mounted to the rear axle to the wheel cylinder. The old one took some effort to get off, but with a liberal amount of PBblaster and some application of heat it worked loose. I’m replacing lines with exactly what was there before, and this line called for 3/16″ tube. To my chagrin the fitting on the back of the wheel cylinder was 7/16″—larger than the fitting I had available for that tube—so I had to run out for new ones. Working backward I figured I’d replace the soft line connecting the hard line run from the front to the tee, but I couldn’t get that fitting to come loose for love or money.

It’s well and truly jammed up, and I’ve rounded the nut trying to get it off. So I can try to cut it off and flare the old tube under the truck, or (gulp) run an entirely new line all the way down the inside of the frame rail.

On Tuesday I connected the driver’s side hardline to the splitter block and moved over to the passenger side; unfortunately I had to cut that tube twice because the first one wasn’t long enough to reach.

Thursday I had a pile of brake parts in hand and tore down the driver’s front drum for the third time to replace the shoes, springs, and cylinder. One thing I didn’t have in hand was the soft brake line, so that’s on order as well as two new adjusting screws (in some hardware kits these are included, but they weren’t in the one I got). Remarkably the soft brake line assembly came off the truck with little effort (some PBblaster and a little heat from a propane torch) which was a relief. I keep saying this, but it’s true: the majority of the bolts on this thing are in really good shape compared to other East Coast trucks I’ve seen and worked on; with only a few exceptions, they’ve all come off easily. I’d put the whole thing together for the fourth  time when I realized that the fittings on both sides of the soft lines were fixed, so I’d have to fasten the section going through the frame to the junction block, then disassemble the whole drum again, remove the cylinder and tighten it while it was loose, then bolt everything back up for the fifth time. But, that side is now done. The passenger side was much crustier than the driver’s side, full of dirt and debris, but now that I have a process down I should be able to knock it out quickly.

Meanwhile, I called around the area and found a mechanic to take a look at the leaky exhaust fitting on the right side of the Scout. For years she had a proper quiet exhaust, but as that fitting has gotten looser, she’s gotten louder. I’d really like to get it fixed, especially for the upcoming trip out west. I had to order the parts from California and I’ll have to bring the truck back to the mechanic to get it properly fixed.

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Date posted: May 26, 2023 | Filed under Repairs, Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Weekly Roundup, 5.26

Jen and I were out walking the dog on our morning coffee route and we saw a bunch of signs in the neighborhood for an etate sale. I’m a sucker for a good estate sale, especially when there are tools to look at, so I suggested we get our coffee and go check it out. As we got closer to the gaggle of cars parked on the road, I realized it was at the house of my Scout friend Steve, who had regrettably passed on a number of years ago. Worried, we walked up the driveway and started looking over the stuff. I found one of the women running the sale and asked if his widow was OK and was relieved to hear she was fine, just cleaning out a bunch of stuff from the house.

In back up by the carriage house, his son’s Scout sat under a tarp, surrounded by tools and yard equipment. I spied a set of Scout panels and a neat bundle of chrome trim, and made a deal on it. It was all too big to carry home so we walked back and I picked up the car to head back over. While I was there I grabbed a set of Bonney box-end wrenches and a creeper, and then I spied a Straight Steer bar sitting on the floor under some other stuff. Walking back outside, Steve’s widow came out to say hello and we caught up a little bit. She mentioned he’d boxed up some other parts and she wanted to make sure they went to someone who could use them, so we traded numbers and I thanked her for coming out to say hello. I’m going to check in with Steve’s son to see if he wants any of the stuff I bought for his truck (she mentioned he’s actually considering selling it) but if not, I can definitely find someone who can use it.

The chrome trim is the big find here. They’re all in super-clean condition with only a little pitting; a soak in some Evaporust will clean up the mounting hardware on the back, and a polish will bring the shine back in the aluminum. I’ve already got two sets of fiberglas panels (one is cut to get between the hardtop and the roll bar) but this set is in fantastic shape.

Meanwhile, Jen got a call from Finn’s karate instructor, whose sister owns a Scout sitting forgotten under a tarp and who needs help getting it started. He wanted to know if it was OK for them to give me a call. They are such nice people and did such great stuff for Finn, I’d dig the truck out of a hole if they asked me to. So hopefully they’ll give me a ring sometime soon and we can see what the situation is there. I’m feeling a lot better about my skills now that I’ve revived two cars in the space of one year.

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Date posted: May 20, 2023 | Filed under friends, Purchasing, Scout | Comments Off on Shiny and Chrome

I put a picture up on Instagram of the Traveall T-shirt I designed and printed through a vendor promo a few months ago, and it wound up being pretty popular. Through that post a guy asked about the ’64-’65 grille I originally bought for the truck that I can’t use, and we DM’d back and forth. Turns out he’s got a ’65 and needs a grille; I sold it to him for exactly what I paid, which is pretty awesome! I pulled it down from the garage attic, still in the box it came to me in, and sent it on its way Thursday.

Other than that, I haven’t gotten any bites from my post on the Binder Planet, so I’m going to experiment with Marketplace and see what kind of response I get for items like the Scout II windshield.

I was able to make a Tuesday early-morning run up to the recycling center to dump the first jug of used-to-be gas from the truck, which went smoothly. When I got back I drained the last of the fluid out for a total of about eight gallons, and some small flakes came out with the remainder, which is a pretty good sign—if it turned to soup or filled the pan with oatmeal, I’d be very worried. I’m going to buy some good gas and run it through the tank to see if any more yuck comes out, and if not, I’ll just leave the tank in place. (I really don’t want to have to drop it if at all possible). I do know that the outlet hose is clogged with a wasp nest so I have to pull the wheel off and figure out if I can get around/behind the tank to replace it.

I’ve got the bodywork on the passenger side endcap pretty much complete; I sprayed it with rattle-can IH red for the time being. It’s good enough for government pay, and I’m going to move on to other sections.

Theoretically I should have a wheel showing up to the house momentarily, and when that arrives I can bring it and our flat CR-V wheel to the NTB in town to have new rubber mounted. I’m on the fence as to what color to paint the wheels, but I think I’m leaning towards black. Depending on how good this one looks I might paint it before the tire goes on.

I got a box in the mail on Wednesday with the paint I ordered a month ago, which is good news. Now the big thing will be setting up for and actually shooting the paint. What I’m going to have to do is put up my 20-year-old car tent in the driveway, find a way to block out the sides, and put something down on the ground to avoid painting the driveway. Then the roof needs to be blocksanded, degreased, primed at least once, blocksanded again, and then shot with a coat of IH red. From there I can see how it lays down and if it needs a second coat, as well as whether it matches with the rattle-can red I’ve been using over the bondo patches.

On Thursday evening, after a long day behind the keyboard, I went out to the truck and put my experience chipping rubberized floorcoating out of a schoolbus to work.

While the coating came up, the paper-based adhesive was still stuck to the wood, so I went back to a trick I used to clean the floors up in our kitchen years ago. I have a hand planer I used to remove the tarpaper adhesive under old linoleum. It had tried to eat its own cord at the end of a job a couple of years ago, so I cut and spliced the cord and then put it to work slowly grinding out the paper. It’s still very sticky so it gummed up the unit and required a lot of cleaning, so I only cleared out about half of it before the setting sun made things too dark.

By now you’re wondering why I don’t just cut this wood out of the truck and replace it; at this point I’m considering it strongly. Part of this exercise was to see how difficult it would be to remove the existing wood, which meant I had to expose all the bolts. If I’m doing my math correctly there are about 60 chonky countersunk Phillips-head bolts holding the wood in place. I think I’m going to leave this as is for now until I get the truck mobile, and then I can pull the wood out, spend time scraping and coating the frame from inside—not underneath—and then replace the wood.

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Date posted: May 12, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Weekly Roundup, 5.12

We had a yard sale a week ago and one of the people who stopped by struck up a conversation about the Scout, which was parked in the driveway. One of the things he mentioned to me was that there was another Scout a half a mile away, parked in someone’s backyard. He gave me a rough idea of where it was and then went on his way. This afternoon Finn and I took advantage of some clear skies and took a bike ride (this is one of my goals for this year: getting her on a bike at least three times weekly) over into that neighborhood. Using his rough description I found the alley where it was probably located, and at the very end we found it:

What’s even more interesting about this Scout is that I’ve seen it before, but not around here. Back in 2019 an ad went up for the cab top on this truck, and when I saw it I considered it briefly, only because it looks like it was painted the same color as Peer Pressure. As I recall it was somewhere in Maryland then, but not in my town. Interesting. It’s got Maryland plates, so it’s legal, but I haven’t seen it on the road around here. I’ll keep my eye out.

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Date posted: May 1, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Sightings | Comments Off on Local Scout

In the quest to get the Travelall running, I started amassing a pile of new parts based on my attempts with friends smarter and more experienced than me. When Erick stopped over he shook his head sadly at my old distributor, so I ordered a brand new HEI unit and then had to wait while it was on backorder. During that time, I spent a total of about $8 on the correct points unit and five minutes installing it, and suddenly I had spark at the wires. So I pulled the carburetor off and soaked it in some cleaner Friday night, then followed a set of instructions online to rebuild it.

It was exceptionally clean inside, but the gaskets had all fused to the metal so I had to spend a good bit of time scraping and sanding the paper off all the surfaces. The accelerator pump diaphragm had solidified, so that got replaced. Once I’d cleaned everything reassembly was straightforward—the Holley 2300 is a very simple carburetor to work on compared to my Thermoquads.

Sunday afternoon, after chasing a generator all over town, I re-installed the carburetor and filled it up with fuel for giggles. This time I followed some of the advice I’d seen online and filled the bowl with fuel before turning the key over. After a couple of tries and the addition of even more fuel, I was happily stunned when she caught and turned over for a few brief seconds:

Flush with success, I started modifying fuel lines to simplify the delivery system and plumbed the boat tank/fuel pump combo to charge the carb. There were no leaks (huzzah!) so I primed the carb and turned her over: after thinking about it for a minute, she fired right up and idled immediately. I topped off the coolant and let her run for a few minutes, noting that the idle was fast—that’ll get adjusted this week—and that there’s a little clatter here and there. The tailpipe sounded good and only a little soot came out, which is a good sign there are no critter nests in the muffler.

So I’ve got a fancy HEI distributor that’s going right back to California this week for a refund. While I was idling the truck I started really looking under the hood and finally clocked that the clutch is a hydraulic system paired with the brake cylinder, which explains why both pedals have no life in them. I’ve got to source a dual cylinder and a shit-ton of soft brake lines as well as a flaring tool and start replacing those in order to get any kind of gear-changing going. Which is good, as the next project on the list is rebuilding the rear drums.

The truck is currently up on two jackstands with the rear wheels off, waiting for two new tires to arrive at my local NTB from TireRack. I pulled the drums off and I’ll have those resurfaced when I have the tire mounted, and I can spend evenings this week rebuilding each rear drum. I’m only mounting one tire because the fourth rim is 15″ and won’t accept the tire, so I have to source a 16″ rim with a 3″ backspacing and 4.5″ bolt pattern from somewhere (ideally, I’d find two).

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Date posted: April 24, 2023 | Filed under Repairs, Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Runner!

On Monday I went out to continue sanding and skimming areas of the truck to get them ready for paint. The passenger side tailcap is coming along well, but will need a lot of attention to be clean enough to go to paint—but I’m enjoying the sculptural aspect of working with filler to get things smooth.

Recapping the starting issue, we’ve replaced almost everything in the ignition system besides the core distributor, but the points I originally bought didn’t have an integrated condenser so we tried to hotwire it on the workday. Testing for spark, we never got anything at the plugs. I replaced the points in the original distributor with a new set with an integrated condenser, and found an early picture I’d taken of the unit as it came to know how to wire things back up (see that black wire in the lower center of the picture above?). After I wired the second new set of points in as per the original and tested my testing light on the Scout, I hooked it up to the Travelall and then I had spark! Unfortunately I couldn’t get her to light off. So I pulled the carburetor off to tear it down and clean it out; I figured the accelerator pump seals were dry and the float was probably stuck.

I also started tracing wires under the dash and pulled the radio plate off to expose everything underneath; while I was there I pulled the old head unit and two dry-rotted speakers they’d bolted under the dash out and threw them in the trash to make more room. The way this dash is designed it could be much simpler to pull wires (or maybe even replace the loom ) than it is in the Scout, but I’m still trying to make a plan for how I’m going to get this thing wired up correctly.

Wednesday evening I was out sanding the truck and a guy on a big Harley parked at the end of the driveway; he’s a fellow car guy and stopped by to check out the truck. This marks the fourth person who has stopped in since I parked the truck in the driveway; clearly people have noticed.

As of Thursday morning the carb was partially disassembled and sort of half-soaking in carb cleaner, but I couldn’t get the float bowl or metering block off the side of the horn. I found a wider container to put the assembly in so that the affected sections were submerged, and was finally able to get all the sections apart on Friday morning. The paper gaskets had glued themselves to the metal so I had to carefully scrape everything apart to get it cleaned up—but the inside of the carb was very clean.

And on Friday I got two boxes of goodies: the new distributor showed up as well as some fuel hose, hose clamps, and a proper oil filter. So if we can’t make the old distributor work, the new one should be ready to pop in (minus a set of male-to-female plug wires).

Farting around with an old Scout II hubcap Friday night, I put it on the odd 15″ rim, where it fit well. Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that a 16″ tire won’t fit on a 15″ rim (duh Bill) so I’d have to source a rim for the fourth tire I just bought. It so happens a guy near here is selling an entire front axle assembly with wheels included, so I messaged him to see if he’d be willing to sell me the wheels (providing they’re the correct size).

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Date posted: April 21, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Fire the Parts Cannon, Mr. Scott

I got a pile of boxes in the mail while I was away last weekend, which was a lot of fun to return to. The smallest was from SendCutSend, and it contained a wrapped set of metal items I’d ordered: a circular plug for the spare passenger fender, and a beautiful custom license plate bracket from my vector file. I brought it out and did a test-fitting, and it is flawless. I’m so impressed with this. I’ve taken it off until I get the areas around the holes filled and sanded, and then I can mount them up to the truck when the door gets painted.

The circular plug fits perfectly but it’s a much thinner metal than the original sheet metal; I clearly need a thickness gauge to know what I’m working with and then I can order the proper material to weld with.

The next item was a huge box containing a thick gasket for the windshield, which I walked out and began installing; it needs to heat up and expand before I can get the whole thing all the way around the perimeter of the glass. The other item in that box was what was described as “Pillar Seals” for the doors, which aren’t what I thought they’d be and don’t seem to fit anywhere I can figure out right now. I was hoping to get the pinch seals that go around the metal lip on the insides of the doors, but they apparently have a lot of different names for all of these products. So that was disappointing.

On Tuesday evening I took advantage of mild weather and returned to the roof of the truck to continue sanding and skimming; Wednesday evening I had a new can of Bondo and finished skimming the whole roof. Thursday evening I hit several areas that needed a final skim and some last touchups but the whole thing is just about ready for the next step. I also filled in the area where the old Travelall script was on the driver’s side and a bunch of areas on the driver’s rear door. Friday was more of the same, and then covering the front up before two days of rain begin. I also ordered a quart of auto primer and a quart of single-stage IH Red from TCPGlobal; I’ll need an HPLV gun from Harbor Freight to shoot everything in the driveway once the roof is ready to go.

Sunday I had about six hours to futz with the truck, so I continued working on the roof and driver’s rear fender. In sanding that side down I figured I’d better take the taillight off and see how it looked inside, and once I’d cleaned that one up I figured I’d do the other.

While the housings and lenses were drying in the sun, I poked an eyeball into the passenger’s side fender to survey the damage: someone had backed into something and crumpled the edge forward of the chrome trim ring, as well as put a dent down towards the bottom of the fender.

I gave the dents a few taps with my small hammer to see if I could punch the crease back out, and within a half an hour or so, and with the help of some lengths of wood, I had the metal mostly back in place.

I cut a larger block of wood in a wedge and used that to push the lower dent out by hammering it in between the inner and outer fender walls. Then the whole thing got a skim coat of filler and I put it all to bed for the night.

Still on hold is a new distributor from IHPA; they’re having supply chain issues and it’s apparently backordered. But I bought a new points/condenser combo like the original Delco distributor had; we should be able to swap that in and see if we can get things firing the next time Erick comes out.

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Date posted: April 17, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Weekly Update, 4.17

Saturday started out rainy so I was inside painting until after noon, and then the clouds parted and the sun came out. Jen had told me it was freakishly warm outside so I figured I would make the most of it and work on the truck.

A lot of what I did was exploratory. I’m still sorting out what’s what on this rig, so I’m spending a lot of time cleaning and disassembling. I did bolt something back up to start, though: both inner fender skirts have cured for two weeks and were ready to put back on the passenger side, so they went in with rust-free bolts shot with Rust Stop. I peeled the tarp back from the hood and got it ready for a bath: I had a can of Engine Brite ready to go and sprayed the whole block down to let it do its work, then dragged the pressure washer out for a rinse.

It’s a damn sight better than it was. The intake manifold cleaned up really well, the valve covers are now missing 80% of their paint, the hoses are all clean, and the rest of the bay is, at least, not covered in mud dauber nests and leaves.

While that was drying I started the long process of pulling the driver’s fender off, which took longer than it needed to but was still mercifully easy due to the bolts all being in good shape. The IH engineers over-fastened the area around the headlights: If I’m counting correctly, there are 20 bolts that hold the fender on, six of those are around the headlight area, two of which are in a place only midgets or Plastic Man can comfortably reach. I shudder to think how hard it would be to unfreeze (or attempt to cut) bolts in areas this small. As it was the top bolt holding the fender to the firewall was stuck, and I had to make a short breaker bar out of one half of my bottle jack handle to torque it off.

This fender is crispier than the passenger side and has taken several shots at the crease, which means it’ll be a challenge to straighten. I’m going to keep my eye out for clean fenders at Nats to save some time.

From there I moved to the front of the fascia and pulled both of the turn signal buckets out, which illuminated another weak spot in the C-series design: the buckets share a channel with the grille where leaves and dirt get kicked up into a valley between two sections of metal, and water and gravity wash it downwards behind the light buckets where it has nowhere else to go.

I scooped, vacuumed, and then powerwashed about a cup of solid dirt from behind each bucket. The left side is much worse than the right. I let them both dry and then hit everything with more Rust Stop to give myself some more time to source a new fascia section.

Digging through the garage I went to the Big Iron section and found something I only half-rememberd I had: a spare Saginaw steering box sitting next to a crate full of spare starters and a Dana 20 transfer case. Steering boxes are apparently getting harder and harder to find, according our friend Lee in Delaware; I got this from the Flintstone Scout two years ago. This is excellent news, as I can send this one out for a rebuild without taking the truck off the road for weeks or months while it’s gone.

By about 5:30 the rainclouds were rolling back in so I set the fender back on the truck and put a screw in to hold it in place, and re-fastened the tarp over the front cowl. The bolts from the fender are sitting in a phosphoric acid bath on the workbench, and the front section of the inner fender skirt is waiting for a date with the sandblaster.

I spent all day Sunday working on work stuff so I could swap for Monday to take advantage of 70˚ weather and attack the roof of the bus—with an eye toward grinding out the rust, feathering the edges with a light coat of Bondo, and sanding it down to a smooth finish.

Between house stuff, two work meetings, and getting things assembled I didn’t get outside until about 1PM, but from then until 6:30 I took a flap wheel to every crater on the roof of the truck as well as the entire length of the drip rail (and a good portion of the area directly underneath, hit it all with Rust Encapsulator, and began covering the pockmarked metal with a thin coat of Bondo. It took a lot longer to do the roof than I’d figured on—every time I thought I was done I saw another bad spot—but with the exception of two small areas everything is ground and prepped. I also ground rust out of  the driver’s rear door and skimmed it for sanding.

Sunday broke sunny and warm, and after some quick work in the house and a walk with Jen and the dog, I hit the garage for a full day. The first thing I did was start sanding the edges of the drip rails down, and I found that no matter how careful I’d been with the bondo applicator there were a ton of high edges to deal with. I got the random orbital sander out and used that to knock the high points down, then went to a Harbor Freight sanding block with 220 grit paper to smooth things out. There are a bunch of areas inside the drip rail that need to be hit again, but between that and the sanding block I got the entire perimeter of the drip rail sanded and covered in high-build primer. It took a lot of work.

I’m trying to go as light as I can everywhere possible. I had to open the driver’s door to roll the windows up and the edge of the fender, which is only held in with two bolts, caught on the door. It wound up prying off this giant chunk of painted Bondo; this is Not How To Repair Bodywork.

My old friend Erick stopped by at 2:30 to look over the engine, and between the two of us we isolated the distributor as the likely culprit for a non-running truck; there was spark all the way up to those wires but nothing at the plugs. We hung out and shot the breeze for a while and he took off; he’ll be back later to help me install the new distributor when I get it in hand.

After he left I kept sanding and priming and then mixed a bunch more bondo to keep filling the divots in the roof. By 6:30 I was pretty beat and I had 3/4 of the roof skimmed, so I packed up the gear and called it a day. My back is sore, my legs are tired, and I feel exhausted but it was a great day of progress.

This article popped up in my feed and I thought it was very interesting: a laser-based fuel sender that does away with mechanical linkages and resistance-based wiring. It uses LIDAR to measure how much fuel is left in the tank and requires an electronic gauge on the dash to work properly. I don’t know how this might work in the Scout—the tank is angled on both sides, and the low point of the tank isn’t centered under the gauge—but it would definitely work on the Travelall, where the tank is flat. Interestingly, the gauge in the Travelall actually works, and currently reads half a tank.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: April 4, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Weekly Roundup, 4.4